College of Arts and Sciences

Department of English


Programs in English include a general degree suitable for anyone interested in a career involving reading and writing including preparation for graduate studies in English; professional writing and rhetoric courses suitable for students preparing for careers in business, public service, and law; an English education track leading to a secondary teaching certificate in English; and a flexible creative writing degree including poetry, fiction, and nonfiction (travel writing, column writing, memoir writing, etc.). Our Humanities classes offer a wide array of integrated arts courses which explore non-English literature in translation, philosophy, art, architecture, music, and film.

We teach a broad array of courses in writing, including beginning, intermediate, and advanced composition and technical writing. Special classes train students in writing essays in English as a second language.

The English department also administers the interdisciplinary digital technology and culture (DTC) degree. More than 10 departments collaborate to offer this interdisciplinary liberal arts degree that offers a unique combination of critical and practical skills aimed at developing students who are prepared to work in technological environments, create technologically enhanced products, and who are critically aware of the role that technology plays in society and culture. A degree in DTC prepares students for 21st-century careers in Web site design and usability, graphic and print design, photography, professional and technical writing, database development, and a variety of other technology-enhanced careers.

We also participate in interdepartmental programs in linguistics, film studies, women's studies, comparative ethnic cultures, and American studies.

The WSU Department of English uses a multiplicity of approaches in its scholarship, teaching, and service, unified by the department's commitment to the study, understanding, and production of texts of many kinds. While we practice methodological and curricular diversity in our professional activities, that diversity is focused on our common commitment to encouraging the critically literate citizenship of all students.

We understand the need for interdisciplinarity of approach in a contemporary, world-class university and accept the responsibility for educating students to become critically literate in diverse literatures and cultures, and become proficient communicators able to understand the power of language to shape their worlds. We are dedicated to developing educators, scholars, creative writers, and a wide spectrum of other professionals, all of whom are empowered to contribute and to lead within their chosen professions and the community at large.

We pursue this mission by enabling students to:

  • Read literary and cultural texts carefully and critically.
  • Produce a variety of creative and critical texts using appropriate technologies that contribute to literary and cultural discourses.
  • Develop abilities in critical reading, writing, and thinking necessary for them to communicate successfully with other audiences both within and outside the University.
  • Explore the record of the human experience in language.

We are brought to these commitments in the first place by our shared belief that a university can bestow no greater benefit on its students than confidence in their ability to make effective use of language. Building linguistic abilities significantly deepens and clarifies students' thinking, enhancing their work in all the disciplines.

What you can do with a degree in English

  • Creative and professional writing
  • Publishing and editing
  • Advertising and public relations
  • Web content development
  • Teaching
  • Law
  • Journalism
  • Event Planning
  • More careers

Skills you can market with a degree in English

  • Ability to explore meaning and express ideas
  • Familiarity with literary genres and history
  • Strong analytical and research skills
  • Creative thinking
  • Effective oral and written communication
  • Reading and listening comprehension
  • Cultural awareness and sensitivity
  • Time management and organization


Department of English, PO Box 645020, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-5020, 509-335-2581, Contact Us